Every now and then we all feel a little down in the dumps, sometimes even depressed and overwhelmed. We may feel bad because we fall short of our goals and we feel like failures. It seems impossible to think of ways to pick yourself up.
There are certainly lots of reasons for feeling down and while I'm not an expert and certainly not qualified to give advice about these things, their implications or treatment for them, I feel comfortable talking about things that have worked well for me.
Yes, depression can interfere with achieving your goals. When you're depressed you want to do something, but you don't feel like doing anything except lay around. If you don't take action, things can get worse and this problem can take a long time to overcome.
Here are a few things that have worked for me:
1. Keep a List
Sometimes feeling overwhelmed can cause us to feel depressed or down in the dumps (you're not alone, we all hit the bottom of the barrel at some point). Don't you feel like all the junk in your head is too much to handle?
First step, pick up a pen and paper and start writing. Make a list of all the things that are overwhelming you. This is just one of the ways to pick yourself up and it's very effective.
Sometimes it's home-related stuff, sometimes it's work-related stuff, sometimes it's goal-related stuff. Maybe it's a combination of these things. Whatever it is, make a list of exactly what's bothering you.
Making a list can be a huge relief because you're getting stuff under control. Now you have it on paper. You can see right listed in front of you. You know what you need to do. You can now prioritize things, that alone will help elevate your mood. (Can't you feel yourself feeling better already?)
2. Your Action Plan
You made a list and thought about your plan of action. So, are you still feeling overwhelmed? Get started on the first thing on your list.
Is it a big task? If so, break it down into small, doable chunks. No one said you had to tackle it all at once. This is another great way to pick yourself up.
IMPORTANT POINT: Once you get started and take action, you'll immediately start to feel better. The ball is rolling, you're moving in a positive direction and your spirits will lift. Trust me. Once you've got that awesome momentum going, it'll feel a lot better than laying around thinking about your problems and feeling sorry for yourself.
Yep, there's nothing more therapeutic than moving the ol' body. You might not be in a mood to exercise, but just do it! Once you start, you'll be so glad your did! I'm not saying to put yourself through a "Biggest Loser" torture session, but just the act of exercising will send your mood through the roof and you'll want to do the happy dance (well, at least smile from ear to ear and hum a tune).
4. Hit the Shower
Laying around the house in your grungie clothes smelling like a dirty hamper isn't going to make you feel good about yourself. If anything, it's going to make you feel worse.
Get your butt up and hit the shower.
This is one of the most powerful ways to pick yourself up! A simple shower and feeling clean and groomed does wonders for lifting your mood. What an awesome pick-me-up.
5. Get yourself out of the house and do something productive
Getting out of the house for some fresh air will help get rid of the dark clouds hanging over your head, especially after taking that refreshing shower. Staying at home and thinking about your problems only makes matters worse. Grab the keys, head to Borders for a happy book, then go to Starbucks for a grande caramel macchiato. Don't know about you but I feel better already!
6. Music Soothes the Soul
Feel-good music works wonders! How about some good old Jimmy Buffet or the Beatles to get your mood in an upswing? Put on some tunes and start dancing. Crank it up and move that body.
7. Express Yourself
Have a drink or dinner with a family member, friend or co-worker you can talk to. Open up and let it out. Besides, that's what they're there for. If you don't have someone to talk to, check out online forums or talk to a professional who can put things into perspective for you.
Getting stuff off your chest is a powerful way to pick yourself up. If you can't talk to someone, write or type your feelings. Act as though you're speaking to someone. Let it out - in a BIG way. Don't hold anything back. Cry if you have to, but just get it out.
Mention the reasons you're feeling down. As you do, feel your mood getting lighter. Visualize the cloud lifting. Afterward, go outside for a nice, cleansing, refreshing walk.
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Image Credit: Louisa Stokes / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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